Why Are Businesses Posting Free Content? by Top Digital Marketing Agency, Absolute Digital
Updated: Oct 7
You may have noticed more and more businesses posting free, valuable content these days. But why is that so when they could easily charge their clients consultation fees for their advice?
In this post, we are going to answer this question.
"Grocery stores like free sample giveaways because they get shoppers excited, feeling like they’re getting in on something exclusive and special." as quoted by an article from Times. In fact, it's proven that humans are creatures of habit. That's why it's easy to get addicted to your favorite brand of drinks or you crave a certain food some times. If you one were to apply this same formula to digital marketing, or other businesses in the service industry without any products, it is to give out free content.
An industry that faced controversy with "free advise" would be the legal industry. Their clients often seek their advice on certain issues without engaging them in the end. This is also the reason why lawyers charge by the hour. So why do businesses willingly give out free content?
It's time to travel to 2020 (if your business model is still stuck in the 1980s), where the online world has forever changed the way we think about - and do - business.
Now, instead of sending promotional newsletters and flyers, claiming your business is the best in the industry, or how you can offer the same services or products are a better deal, customers have gotten used to (and sick of). Instead, when a business delivers content marketing, customers will feel these:
Engaged with the business - when they read an article or watch a video and can relate or use the information to their own benefit, they start to build trust in your brand. This trust will be formed over time so it's important to regularly post strong and useful content and not just a one-hit-wonder.
Current - When your business talks about a current issue (global if best), it speaks about how your business is relevant and up to date with current affairs. Nobody wants to work with a company that is outdated. This leads me to my next point
Evolve - I've said this before, and I'll say it again - Don't be the next Nokia. The downfall of Nokia has had many factors in play. Including tough competition, change in consumer behavior, but the most important factor was their failure to adapt and change. The Sweedish company once held the monopoly in the mobile phone industry but not long after the new millennium, companies outgrew these tech giants with the introduction of touch screen smartphones. If you are not yet convinced, you can. read about the downfall of Blackberry where they faced a similar fate because they refused to change with the markets.
Now that you know the importance of content marketing, let me tell you why you should do it, today!
A customer chooses to engage your business because of one or more of these reasons:
Prestige or Aesperational Purchase
Fad or Innovation
The Girl Scout Cookie Effect
Reciprocity or Guilt
If you'd like to read more about these effects, you can read this article.
If you're not providing a basic need such as food, shelter, electricity, water or transport, you are going to want to read on. The old business model would be to compete with price or pressure them into buying. Another common technique used is a scarcity or to invoke the fear of missing out.
Well, consumers of today are getting more educated and smarter.
In order for you to get their business, they must first like and trust your brand. If you already have an established brand like Apple, then you are on the right track! If not, you need to win these paying customers with information unique to your expertise.
Start by writing a blog, journal, or article about your knowledge in your field of expertise. This will improve your credibility and make your business stay relevant to the current market. When you post free content, it's easy to attract like-minded viewers, and you will have a chance to convince buyers who are interested but not yet convicted.
Collaborate with other industry players. "Your network is your network" - can be applied to your business as well. First off, you get to tap onto their resources, following and you can start from there. The impression of your business would be affected by who you collaborate with as well so choose wisely. Preferably someone you resonate with and have a similar goal.
Engage your customers. Online platforms like websites, social media, and search engines provide the perfect platform for businesses to engage with their customers. Instead of having one-off clients, you have the opportunity to build a brand by actively engaging your most loyal customers and show that you care.
Another way to show that your business care is to start a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) campaign. You can never care too much. This is one of the best advice I have received over the years in business and I am proud to say that it's true. Nobody can dislike a business doing good and asking nothing in return. The key is to choose am issue that you are passionate about and actively, and sincerely work towards creating a better environment for those facing that issue.
What are some of the issues your business is facing, and do you think digital marketing can help solve those problems? Leave a comment down below and let us work together to overcome these challenges together.
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